Australian radio station 2Day FM at the center of Kate Middleton prank call “broke the law”, the country’s media watchdog has said.
The finding came in a confidential, preliminary report by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which emerged in a court case.
The report said 2Day FM acted illegally by airing the phone call without consent.
Lawyers for 2Day FM’s owner, Southern Cross Austereo, are seeking to block the report, according to local media.
2Day FM acted illegally by airing Kate Middleton prank call without consent
The document came to light as part of their Federal Court hearing, in which they argue the ACMA does not have the power to make a criminal finding, only the courts do.
Australian Federal Police are currently investigating the call.
Nurse Jacintha Saldanha in UK was found dead in December, three days after DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian duped her into transferring a call to the Duchess of Cambridge’s hospital ward.
A ward nurse at King Edward VII’s Hospital then gave the DJs details about the condition of Kate Middleton, who was being treated for severe morning sickness at the time.
Michael Christian returned to work two months after the prank call, while Mel Greig remains off air and is suing her employer for failing to provide a safe workplace.
Mel Greig is due to give evidence in person at the London inquest into Jacintha Saldanha’s death. The inquest was delayed in July for the second time to give coroner Dr. Fiona Wilcox time to “seek more information”.
Michael Christian, one of the two Australian DJs who made a prank call to the London hospital where Kate Middleton was being treated, is back on air.
Michael Christian was suspended two months ago by 2Day-FM in Sydney after nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who answered the phone – and believed the callers to be the Queen and Prince Charles – was found dead.
He is broadcasting on sister-station Fox FM in Melbourne.
His co-presenter at the time of the prank, Mel Greig, is still off the air.
Kate Middleton was being treated at King Edward VII’s Hospital for an extreme form of morning sickness when Michael Christian and Mel Greig made their prank call pretending to be members of the Royal Family.
The nurse answered the call and put them through to another nurse who gave an update on the duchess’s condition.
Jacintha Saldanha, a 46-year-old wife and mother-of-two, was found hanged three days later. She had left three suicide notes, her inquest revealed as it was opened and adjourned.
Michael Christian, one of the two Australian DJs who made a prank call to the London hospital where Kate Middleton was being treated, is back on air
Earlier this month the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence to charge Michael Christian and Mel Greig with manslaughter over Jacintha Saldanha’s death.
2Day FM is owned by Southern Cross Austereo and its chief executive officer, Rhys Holleran, said: “We are happy to have Michael back on air.
“We have always supported our talent returning to work when appropriate and today marks that occasion for MC [Michael Christian]. We look forward to welcoming Mel Greig back when the time is right.”
A SWAT team was sent to Kris and Bruce Jenner’s California mansion on Friday afternoon; with at least two helicopters hovering up above as back up.
Reality star Kim Kardashian, 32, tweeted her panic from the Ivory Coast after being informed of the commotion, which was sparked by a bogus call to the police claiming a shooting had taken place at the Calabasas home.
Her younger sisters, Kendall and Kylie Jenner were less dramatic and saw the funny side of it all… as did patriarch Bruce, who posed for an Instagram with the police officers.
Kylie Jenner, 17, tweeted “my neighbors officially think I’m crazy” to which her sister Kendall replied: “Our whole household is crazy.”
She then posted a picture of her father merrily posing with officers in front of the mansion’s famous sweeping staircase; and of the squad cars lined up outside the home.
A SWAT team was sent to Kris and Bruce Jenner’s California mansion on Friday afternoon following bogus shooting
Kim Kardashian was a tad more dramatic, writing: “Just got a call from my mom telling me about this prank call that someone was shot in their home & 15 swat team & 3 helicopters showed up!”
She added: “These prank calls are not funny! People can get arrested for this! I hope they find out who is behind this. It’s dangerous & not a joke!”
Kendall Jenner wrote, alongside her montage of the events: “I love it when 8 police officers show up at my door and 10 cop cars are outside my house. just another casual Friday evening at the Jenner household. #nbd #EveryonesOk”
These pranks seem to be becoming more common.
Police were sent to Tom Cruise’s house following a report about an alleged armed intruder on the property on Thursday.
The call that alerted police is now believed to be a prank after Los Angeles Police Department officers arrived on the scene and found nothing suspicious.
The action star and his family were not at the mansion when the incident occurred Thursday afternoon.
Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who committed suicide after answering a hoax phone call about Kate Middleton, made two attempts to kill herself last winter and had been prescribed antidepressants.
Jacintha Saldanha, who took her own life days after the call from Australian DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles, attempted to commit suicide last December with an overdose of pills during a family visit to India.
She survived after being rushed to hospital but tried to commit suicide again just nine days later by apparently jumping from a building.
Jacintha Saldanha, 46, spent several days in intensive care before receiving psychiatric treatment and being prescribed a course of powerful antidepressants for nine months.
Along with the previous suicide attempts, reported in an Indian newspaper, members of Jacintha Saldanha’s family have revealed that the nurse was so ashamed after taking the hoax call earlier this month that she did not tell her husband or children about it before her death, despite speaking to them by phone several times.
Jacintha Saldanha was found hanged with a scarf at her living quarters at the King Edward VII’s Hospital in Central London on December 7.
Three days earlier, Jacintha Saldanha was the duty nurse who answered the prank call from Mel Greig and Michael Christian, and transferred it to a colleague.
That nurse revealed confidential medical information about pregnant Kate Middleton, who was being treated at the hospital for acute morning sickness. The call was broadcast in Australia and made headlines around the world.
Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who committed suicide after answering a hoax phone call about Kate Middleton, made two attempts to kill herself last winter and had been prescribed antidepressants
Yet the closest Jacintha Saldanha came to telling her husband she was at the centre of the story was when she told him to watch the news, claimed family members in her home town of Mangalore, southern India.
“The first her husband knew that she was the victim of the hoax call was when police told him she was dead. Nobody in the family knew,” said her younger brother Naveen Saldanha, 42.
“They spoke several times that week but she did not tell him or the kids anything about it.”
The latest insight into the nurse’s state of mind came as British police confirmed yesterday they had passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service to determine whether any offences had been committed.
Mel Greig and Michael Christian could be charged with attempting to obtain medical details by deception. Further charges could be brought against Australian radio station 2Day FM if it is found to have broadcast the prank without the permission of the participants.
Although Jacintha Saldanha’s family have previously said she did not have a history of depression, new reports suggest she has been battling the condition since at least December last year.
That month, Jacintha Saldanha, her accountant husband Benedict Barboza, 49, their son Junal, 17, and adopted daughter Lisha, 14, attended a family wedding in Shirva, 30 miles north of Mangalore. But on December 30, just days after the devout Catholic family celebrated Christmas, Jacintha Saldanha is believed to have taken an overdose of pills. She was rushed to a private hospital in Mangalore, where she was treated for “self-harm”.
On January 8 this year, she is believed to have attempted suicide again and was treated at Father Muller Medical College Hospital for head injuries suffered in a “fall”.
She was kept in intensive care for several days and then admitted to the psychiatric ward of the hospital, where she was treated for depression.
Jacintha Saldanha was discharged three days later and given a nine-month course of anti-depressants. Her family was warned there was a risk that she may attempt suicide again.
Her medication would have finished in September. It is not known if she was prescribed any more or if staff at King Edward VII’s knew of her fragile condition.
Last night, her brother, an engineer in Mangalore, said: “We didn’t know about the first incident, but we knew about the second incident at Father Muller.”
He refused to give further details.
Mr. Saldanha said Jacintha spoke to her husband by telephone on the evening of the prank call, which was made at 5.30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 4, but did not tell him about her involvement. He added that she spoke to her husband and children twice the following day, but still did not reveal anything, though she told Benedict Barboza to watch the news.
Mr. Saldanha said he believes his sister did not tell her family in the UK or India about the hoax as she felt ashamed.
Benedict Barboza became slightly concerned when his wife did not call on Thursday, December 6, but believed she was busy with nursing classes.
On Friday morning, he called a colleague of Jacintha Saldanha to check on his wife. Hours later, he was told of her death by officers from Avon and Somerset Police.
Last week, the body of Jacintha Saldanha was flown back to India and buried according to her wishes in the village of Shirva.
Mel Greig and Michael Christian, the Australian radio hosts at the centre of Kate Middleton hospital hoax, say they are “gutted and heartbroken” over the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha.
Jacintha Saldanha was found dead on Friday, three days after taking the hoax call.
Mel Greig and Michael Christian wept as they said “not a minute goes by where we don’t think about her family”.
They had pretended to be members of the Queen and Prince Charles asking about Kate Middleton, who was being treated in hospital for acute morning sickness.
In an interview for Channel Nine’s A Current Affair programme Michael Christian told presenter Tracy Grimshaw: “When we thought about making a call it was going to go for 30 seconds we were going to be hung up on, and that was it. As innocent as that.”
Mel Greig said: “We thought a hundred people before us would’ve tried it. We thought it was such a silly idea and the accents were terrible and not for a second did we expect to speak to Kate let alone have a conversation with anyone at the hospital. We wanted to be hung up on.”
The pair said they heard about Jacintha Saldanha’s death in the early hours of Saturday morning.
“It was the worst phone call I’ve ever had in my life,” said Mel Greig.
Asked what his immediate reaction had been, Michael Christian wept and said: “Shattered, gutted, heartbroken and obviously you know. Our deepest sympathies are with the family and the friends.”
Mel Greig said: “There’s not a minute that goes by where we don’t think about her family and what they must be going through, and the thought that we may have played a part in that is gut-wrenching.”
Michael Christian added: “Prank calls are made every day, on every radio station in every country, around the world and they have been for a long time and no-one could’ve imagined this to happen.”
They were also interviewed for Channel 7’s Today Tonight programme and Mel Greig said of the moment she heard of Jacintha Saldanha’s death: “Unfortunately I remember that moment very well because I haven’t stopped thinking about it since it happened and I remember my first question was <<Was she a mother?>>”
Mel Greig and Michael Christian say they are gutted and heartbroken over the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha
Michael Christian said there was “no malice” in the prank call and “no harm intended” to the nurses, to the duchess or to Prince William.
Mel Greig said they had expected to be hung up on and she said: “The accents were terrible. You know it was designed to be stupid. We were never meant to get that far from the little corgis barking in the background – we obviously wanted it to be a joke.
“If we played any involvement in her death then we’re very sorry for that. And time will only tell.”
Mel Greig said she would give evidence at the inquest if she was required and she played down questions about her and Michael Christian’s career.
Asked about whether she felt there was a “witch hunt” against them, she said: “There’s nothing that can make me feel worse than what I feel right now. And for what I feel for the family. We’re so sorry that this has happened to them.”
Kate Middleton was taken to King Edward VII Hospital in central London last Monday, suffering from an extreme form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum.
Jacintha Saldanha had answered the presenters’ call and, believing they were members of the Royal Family, put them through to another nurse, who described the Duchess of Cambridge’s condition in detail.
She was pronounced dead on Friday morning at staff accommodation close to the hospital. An inquest into Jacintha Saldanha’s apparent suicide is due to be opened in the next few days.
Earlier the presenters’ employer, Sydney radio station 2DayFM, said at least five attempts were made to obtain the permission of the two nurses involved before airing the call.
The radio station said it was going to review its broadcasting practices.
In an interview with a Melbourne radio station 3AW, Rhys Holleran – whose company Southern Cross Austereo owns 2DayFM – said his staff had tried several times to make contact with Jacintha Saldanha and another nurse at the King Edward VII’s Hospital to get their permission to use the prank conversation before it was transmitted.
Rhys Holleran said the death of Jacintha Saldanha was “tragic” and “regrettable”, but that it “could not have been foreseen”.
Some legal experts in Australia have said if the radio station did not tell the nurses they were being recorded, or received their permission to broadcast the conversation, they may be in breach of a number of laws.
Jacintha Saldanha’s husband, Ben Barboza, wrote on his Facebook page: “I am devastated with the tragic loss of my beloved wife Jacintha in tragic circumstances.”
The family was being comforted by relatives and friends at their home in Bristol, where they were visited by Labour MP Keith Vaz on Sunday.
He said the family are “grief stricken and shocked” at Jacintha Saldanha’s death and were grateful to the hospital for establishing a memorial fund in her name.
Australian radio station 2Day FM at the centre of the UK royal hospital hoax death says it is going to review its broadcasting practices.
Nurse Jacintha Saldanha was found dead three days after putting through a call that gathered details of pregnant Kate Middleton’s condition.
The hoax call was made by DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who have been taken off air and are being counseled.
Neither have commented but do want to speak to the media, a spokeswoman said.
The board of Southern Cross Austereo, which owns the radio station, 2Day FM, met on Sunday to discuss a highly critical letter from the hospital which was the victim of the prank call.
Southern Cross Austereo chairman Max Moore-Wilton promised in a letter to the chairman of King Edward VII’s Hospital that the company would co-operate with any investigation.
He said: “We are all saddened by the events of the last few days. They are truly tragic.
“It is too early to know the full details leading to this tragic event and we are anxious to review the results of any investigation that may be made available to us or made public.
“We can assure you that we will fully cooperate with all investigations.
“As we have said in our own statements on the matter, the outcome was unforeseeable and very regrettable.
“I can assure you we are taking immediate action and reviewing the broadcast processes involved.”
Kate Middleton’s hoax call was made by DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who have been taken off air and are being counseled
An inquest into Jacintha Saldanha’s apparent suicide is due to be opened in the next few days.
She was pronounced dead on Friday morning at staff accommodation close to the hospital.
Jacintha Saldanha had answered the presenters’ call and, believing they were members of the Royal Family, put them through to another nurse, who described the Duchess of Cambridge’s condition in detail.
There has been a strong reaction both in the UK and Australia towards Mel Greig and Michael Christian since the death of Jacintha Saldanha, and both have been receiving counseling.
Both deleted their Twitter accounts and were taken off the air, but a Southern Cross Austereo spokeswoman said they had “expressed a desire to speak”.
“We haven’t ascertained when they’re ready for that and how we’re going to organize that, but they certainly want to,” the spokeswoman said.
The nurse’s family was being comforted by relatives and friends at their home in Bristol.
In a statement last night, Jacintha Saldanha’s family said they were “deeply saddened” by the death and asked for privacy.
Meanwhile, Prince William will not attend the British Military Tournament in London later on Sunday.
A St James’ Palace spokesman said the prince had opted instead to spend Sunday privately with Kate Middleton, who had been in hospital with an extreme form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum.
King Edward VII hospital, which is treating Kate Middleton, has released private details about her condition to two prank callers from Australian radio station 2Day FM.
The King Edward VII Hospital in central London has launched an investigation into the extraordinary stunt by Mel Greig and Michael Christian – and St James’s Palace is understood to be furious at what happened.
Mel Greig and Michael Christian pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles to obtain intimate medical information about pregnant Kate Middleton, who is suffering from acute morning sickness. The transcript in full:
Receptionist: Hello, good morning, King Edward VII Hospital
Female presenter (Mel Greig, impersonating the Queen): Oh, hello there. Could I please speak to Kate please, my granddaughter?
Receptionist: Oh yes, just hold on ma’am
Male presenter (Michael Christian, impersonating Prince Charles): Are they putting us through?
Christian: If this has worked it is the easiest prank call we have ever made. Your accent sucked by the way, I just want you to know
Greig: I’m not used to playing old an 80-year-old
[Phone picked up]
Greig: Kate, my darling. Are you there?
Nurse: Good morning ma’am, this is the nurse speaking, how may I help you?
Greig: I’m just after my granddaughter Kate. I want to see how her little tummy bug is going?
Nurse: She’s sleeping at the moment and she has had an uneventful night. And sleep is good for her. She’s been given some fluids [part removed due to patient confidentiality]. She’s stable at the moment.
[Part removed due to patient confidentiality]
Mel Greig and Michael Christian pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles to obtain intimate medical information about pregnant Kate Middleton
Greig: I’ll just feed my little corgis then. When is a good time to come and visit her, because I’m the Queen and I need a lift down there?
[In background: Mummy, mummy]
Charles! When can you take me to the hospital, Charles?
Christian: When will it be alright to come down and see her? Maybe in the morning or something if that’s OK?
Nurse: I would suggest that any time after nine o’clock would be suitable because the doctor will be in the morning and will just be getting her freshened up. I would think any time after nine.
Christian: Is Wills still there or has he gone home? I haven’t spoken to him yet.
Nurse: He went home probably at about nine o’clock last night, to be fair.
Christian: Lovely, but are they all ok? Everything is alright?
Nurse: [Removed due to confidentiality]
Christian: Of course, it’s hardly the palace is it?
Greig: It’s nothing like the palace, is it Charles? When are you going to walk those bloody corgis?
Christian: Mummy, I’ll go and take the dogs outside.
Greig: I need to go visit Kate in the morning. My dear, thank you so much!
Nurse: You are very welcome
[Both presenters burst into laughter]
Greig: She was giving real information.
Christian: Mummy I think they just believed everything we just said.
A hoax call from Australian radio station 2Day FM presenters, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles, has been made to King Edward VII hospital where Kate Middleton is being treated for morning sickness.
King Edward VII hospital in London said a nurse had discussed the Duchess of Cambridge’s condition with an Australian radio station and deplored the “foolish prank”.
Hospital’s chief executive said confidentiality was taken seriously and telephone protocols are under review.
Two radio presenters, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, last night tricked staff at the Duchess of Cambridge’s hospital into giving a full update on her condition.
In an extraordinary stunt that provoked fury, the Australian 2Day FM presenters impersonated the Queen and Prince Charles and found themselves talking to pregnant Kate’s private nurse.
A nurse tells Mel Greig and Michael Christian that the Duchess is about to be “freshened up”, saying: “She’s sleeping at the moment and she has had an uneventful night.
“She’s been given some fluids, she’s stable at the moment.”
Australian 2Day FM presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian impersonated the Queen and Prince Charles and found themselves talking to pregnant Kate Middleton’s private nurse
King Edward VII Hospital in central London today verified that the call was genuine but criticized it as “a foolish prank call that we all deplore”. The stunt triggered global outrage.
The presenters started the show by claiming they have the phone number of the King Edward VII Hospital and call it, claiming they want to “speak to Kate”.
It came as Prince William left his wife’s beside last night after a six-hour vigil and for the first time in more than 24 hours finally felt able to offer a smile.
Kate Middleton was said to be feeling better, but will continue to receive treatment for the next few days.
The Duchess has been on a drip in hospital after being admitted on Monday with an acute – and potentially dangerous – form of morning sickness.
St James’s Palace said yesterday: “The Duchess of Cambridge is continuing to feel better. She and the duke are immensely grateful for the good wishes they have received.
“She will remain in hospital at present and will continue to be treated for hyperemesis gravidarum.”
In spite of William’s obvious concern, the couple may be forced to spend the first months of Kate’s pregnancy apart if her medical condition does not improve.
The condition that the duchess, who is believed to be only eight weeks pregnant, has been diagnosed with can last for the first five months of pregnancy – sometimes even for the entire duration.
It may require regular hospital treatment because it can lead to severe dehydration, putting mother and baby at risk.
A spokesman for Prince William and Kate Middleton said he would be making no comment on the prank.